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18 + 1.55
15 + 2
18 + 3.25
Level 1 16 25
Hit Points 492 967 1575
Mana 234 884 1508
Damage 42‒51 92‒101 140‒149
Armor 1.1 5.58 10.62
Attacks / Second 0.67 0.86 1.07
Movement Speed 315
Turn Rate 0.5
Sight Range 1800/800
Attack Range 550
Missile Speed 900
Attack Duration 0.46+0.54
Cast Duration 0.4+1.1
Base Attack Time 1.7
Collision Size 24

Ethreain the Lich is a ranged intelligence Hero that uses his abilities to slow his enemies down with his ice-based attacks, as well as giving a boost to ally defenses, and serves as a great teamfight ganker with his powerful ultimate. He can use Sacrifice to easily level up and keep his mana high, making him very good at harassing in the early stages of the game. While a relatively frail hero and mostly known as a support, he can prove to be a force to be reckoned and mighty foe to stand with as he can render the attempts of multiple enemies futile with his ultimate, Chain Frost. Lich is a powerful crowd controller and can easily turn a teamfight, or dominate in a lane.


Lich Ethreain, the Lich
Play "And so the dead will bury the dead."
Role: Pip roamer.png Support / Pip babysitter.png Lane Support / Pip ganker.png Nuker
Lore: In life, the frost-mage Ethreain (not yet a Lich) had used the threat of destructive ice to enslave entire kingdoms. His subjects, aided by a few desperate magicians, eventually grew bold enough to ambush him. Armed with enough charmed rope to bind him forever, they tied the frost mage to adamant weights and dropped him in a pool known chiefly for being bottomless. It wasn't. He only fell for a year or so before an outcrop snagged him. There he rested, dead but undecaying, until the geomancer Anhil thought to verify the legend of the supposedly bottomless Black Pool. Anhil's plumbline snarled with the ropes that bound the drowned magician, and up he hauled an unexpected prize. Thinking that by rendering the dead undead, he could question the Lich about the properties of the pool, he removed the bindings and commenced a simple rite of resurrection. Even the descendants of Ethreain's enemies were long forgotten by time, so there were none to warn Anhil against imprudence. But he learned the error of his judgment almost immediately, as Lich threw off the shackles and consumed him.
Voice: Gary Schwartz (Responses)


Frost Blast
Blocked by Spell Immunity. Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Can be purged. Play
Frost Blast icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
Target Unit Enemies Magical
Blasts the target enemy unit with damaging frost, dealing area damage and slowing movement and attack rates for 4 seconds. The primary target takes the most damage.
Cast Range: 600
Effect Radius: 200
Primary Damage: 50/100/150/200
Area Damage: 75/100/125/150
Move Speed Slow: 30%
Attack Speed Slow: 20
Slow Duration: 4
Cooldown 8 Mana 125/150/170/190
Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Despite the visual effects, the spell is completely blocked when the target is Linken's holder. Not blocked when hit as a secondary target.
Frost-mage Ethreain has not forgotten even the simplest of ice manipulation.


  • The targeting reticule must be centered over an enemy unit.
  • The area damage is dealt before the primary damage.
  • The primary target takes the primary damage and the area damage, resulting in 125/200/275/350 damage (before reductions).

Ice Armor
Partially blocked by Spell Immunity. Not blocked by Linken's Sphere. Can be purged. Play
Ice Armor icon.png
Ability Affects
Target Unit Allies
Creates a shield around the target friendly unit or building, which adds armor and slows attacking units. Lasts 40 seconds.
Cast Range: 800
Armor Bonus: 3/5/7/9
Move Speed Slow: 30%
Attack Speed Slow: 20
Armor Duration: 40
Slow Duration: 2
Cooldown 5 Mana 50
Partially blocked by Spell Immunity. Can be cast on spell immune allies. Slow isn't applied on spell immune enemies.
Can be purged. The shield and the slow are both purgeable.
Originally crafted during his ambush for self-defense, the Lich is capable of enchanting others with a formidable defense of frost magic.


  • The slow is applied upon a successful hit on a unit with the buff on.
  • This means when an attack misses, or is disjointed, the slow will not be applied.
  • Allied units can attack an ally with the buff on without getting slowed.
  • Can be set on Auto-Cast.
    • When on Auto-Cast, Lich will automatically cast this spell on an allied hero who gets under attack within 1100 radius of Lich.
    • This includes attacks from any source, including wards and allied attacks.
    • Only heroes and illusions are auto-cast targets, including spell immune heroes. All other units are ignored by auto-cast.
    • Auto-Cast can interrupt Lich's current order and makes him forget the next queued command. Following queued commands are not forgotten
    • Cannot occur while channeling a spell.

Blocked by Spell Immunity. Not blocked by Linken's Sphere. Play
Sacrifice icon.png
Ability Affects
Target Unit Allies
Sacrifices a friendly creep and converts its current hit points into mana for Lich. Grants XP to both enemies and allies.
Cast Range: 400
Current Health Converted: 25%/40%/55%/70%
Cooldown 44/36/28/20 Mana 25
It was not unheard of Ethreain to make examples out of those who contested his rule during his human life.


  • Despite the visual effects, Lich instantly gains the mana from this spell.
  • Does not deny the target unit. All heroes within the experience range will get experience from the unit killed by Sacrifice.

Chain Frost
Partially blocked by Spell Immunity. Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Can be purged. Play
Chain Frost icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
Target Unit Enemies Magical
Releases an orb of frost that bounces up to 10 times, slowing and damaging enemy units. The first target is mini-stunned.
Cast Range: 750 (850*)
Bounce Distance: 575
Number of Bounces: 10 (Infinite*)
Damage: 280/370/460 (370/460/550*)
Move Speed Slow: 30%
Attack Speed Slow: 20
Slow Duration: 4
Cooldown 120/90/60 Mana 200/325/500
Partially blocked by Spell Immunity. Mini-stun and bounces are not blocked. Slow is blocked.
Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Mini-Stun can be blocked and the 1st hit can be blocked. However, they are not blocked together. If Linken's Sphere is ready upon cast, only the stun is blocked. If Linken's Sphere is ready as the projectile flies after the mini-stun, the damage and slow of the first hit are blocked. Not blocked at all for secondary targets.
Can be Improved by Aghanim's Scepter (* shows the improved values). Increases damage and casting range. Removes bounce limit.
Almost universally considered the ultimate in frost magic, Ethreain's orb of frozen death strikes fear into those who dare stand against him.


  • The projectile bounces in 0.2 second intervals.
  • Can bounce on the same unit multiple times, but only when another target was between the bounces.
  • The mini-stun is applied immediately upon cast and lasts for 0.1 seconds.
  • Can deal up to 1680/2220/2760 (infinite*) damage to a single unit (before reductions), since it can hit one unit up to 6 times.
  • All jumps together can deal up to 3080/4070/5060 damage (before reductions).
  • The projectile has 1000 range flying vision. The vision is not provided during the 0.2 second jump intervals.
  • Chain Frost bounces can jump on, but not damage or slow Roshan. Only the initial hit can damage and slow him.
  • When bouncing more than 60 times, Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter upgraded Chain Frost loses its vision and stops playing a sound when bouncing on non-hero units.

Recommended items[edit]


  • Starting - Generally Lich should start out with HP regen items like Healing Salves and Tangos. Because early points should be put in sacrifice, Lich can harass effectively without any Intelligence or mana boosts. Due to his item-independent nature, Lich may be and often is more suited to buying a courier than even hard supports.
  • Early-game - A Bracer can be taken if Lich is suffering distinctly from a lack of HP, and if Lich is enduring much harassment, a magic stick may be purchased.
  • Core - Tranquil Boots and then Mekansm should be built due to the advantage they give to your team at the expense of your nearly unlimited mana.
  • Situational - Scythe of Vyse and Shiva's Guard can give your team more disable if they need it. If your ultimate is reliably securing kills, Aghanim's Scepter is an excellent choice.



  • Spamming Frost Blast and Sacrifice early game can be extremely effective by harassing and denying efficiently.
  • An effective strategy is to take Sacrifice immediately. Even though you won't need the mana earned from it, you can deny a creep immediately to prevent the enemy from earning gold (and experience if you did so away from their XP range) and to pull the lane towards your tower.
    • Continue using Sacrifice on friendly creeps as they travel towards your lane, when done properly you can Sacrifice the creep within your and your lane partner's XP range, but outside of the XP range of your enemy, when done consistently an enormous level advantage can be obtained. This is especially important to do when laning with heroes who have powerful ultimates. For instance, when laning with a Viper against a Riki , getting Juggernaut to level 6 before Brewmaster can net you a kill, whereas Brewmaster getting to level 6 before Juggernaut will make it much more difficult for Juggernaut to kill Brewmaster, due to Brewmaster's Primal Split ability which nullifies Juggernaut's ultimate.
  • Despite primarily being a support hero, Lich can play a very effective mid. Combining his powerful Frost Blast to harass the enemy while denying his own creeps can shut down the enemy's laning phase.
  • Ice Armor is a very cheap yet effective ability. Cast it on nearby allies to keep their armor up, or yourself to increase your own survival.
  • The often overlooked quality of Ice Armor is that it slows anyone who is hitting protected by it unit (even a creep), so it helps you to get away from a melee heroes very effectively, or you can use it aggressively by casting on your creeps in laning phase to slow down enemy hero and try to kill or severely harass him.
  • Keep in mind that Ice Armor can be set to auto-cast, automatically casting it on heroes that are being attacked.
  • Since Lich already has high armor thanks to his Ice Armor, getting a Cloak or even Hood of Defiance will greatly improve his survivability. It can also be built into Pipe of Insight later.
  • Chain Frost can be one of the most devastating ultimates in the game, and can easily turn a teamfight in your favor when used properly. Use it to deal damage quickly to clustered Heroes.
  • One of the biggest disadvantages of Chain Frost is its slow movement speed. This gives time for enemies to split apart preventing chain frost from bouncing. You can however, work with heroes like Dark Seer's Vacuum, Faceless Void's Chronosphere or Enigma's Black Hole which locks heroes in place taking the full damage from Chain Frost for an extremely devastating damage.
  • Heroes like Queen of Pain, Death Prophet or Tiny are able to clear creep waves quickly allowing Chain Frost to deal its full damage to heroes.
  • When casting Chain Frost on a lone Hero (targeting the hero with Chain Frost) with 5 creeps, there is approximately ~55% chance of it hitting a hero twice, and ~65% of it hitting a hero twice with 3 creeps. This almost assures a kill on most lone heroes provided the enemy has no escape mechanism with 3 creeps at early levels. Be sure to follow up with a Frost Blast to slow them from escaping Chain Frost range.
  • If Lich catches the enemy team killing Roshan, using Chain Frost will force them to desist and/or deal huge damage to all of them; as Roshan's Lair is very difficult to disperse inside, especially when slowed.
  • Refresher Orb will increase his ultimate ability's damage output by a very large margin, especially if it is a follow up on disabling team fight abilities such as Tidehunter's Ravage, Faceless Void's Chronosphere or Magnus' Reverse Polarity.
  • After Aghanim's Scepter is acquired, Lich can cast Chain Frost on spell immune Ancient or Mud Golem camps to make the jungle dangerous to traverse or gank from, as the frost ball will jump infinitely on the spell immune units, and jump to enemies passing by.


  • Lich's voice actor, Gary Schwartz, also voiced the Heavy and Demoman classes in Team Fortress 2, another title by Valve. Lich's lines, "UM NUM NUM" refer to a line said by the Heavy: the first is an alternate to "OM NOM NOM", used when the Sandvich Edible Device is consumed.
  • Lich is almost a copy of the Warcraft 3 Lich hero, who can learn Frost Nova, Frost Armor and Dark Ritual; in Dota 2, these abilities were renamed to Frost Blast, Ice Armor and Sacrifice, respectively. Only the ultimate ability Death and Decay was completely exchanged with Chain Frost.
  • In the first iteration of Invoker Invoker's abilities, when the order of his three orbs determined the spell that was invoked, Frost Nova was one of his abilities and functioned almost identically to the current spell, and was mapped to Quas Quas Exort.
  • In DotA, Lich was known as Kel'Thuzad, a notable character from the Warcraft universe.[1]
  • In an earlier version of DotA, Lich and Crystal Maiden Crystal Maiden shared the same Frost Nova ability. In later versions, Crystal Maiden's abilities was changed into a target-area slow called Crystal Nova, while Lich kept the original version.
  • Anatomically, Lich's cranium has no visible sutures, another proof of his age.
  • Lich's response (Dead man drifting) might be a reference to original Lich's response in Warcraft 3 (Dead man walking).

Update history[edit]

July 12, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed the order of damage instances on Frost Blast icon.png Frost Nova.

April 19, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed Ice Armor icon.png Frost Armor auto-casting while Lich is channeling.

November 08, 2012 Patch

September 21, 2012 Patch

June 11, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed the following spells being castable on magic immune allies: Nightmare, Frost Armor, Nature's Guise, Holy Persuasion, Decrepify, Astral Imprisonment, Shadow Word and X Marks The Spot.

May 17, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed timing on Chain Frost ministun.

February 16, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed Chain Frost having a chance to end prematurely near fog of war edges.
  • Fixed a recent bug where chainfrost wouldn't choose a magic immune target to bounce to.
  • Fixed Chain Frost deciding late as to which unit it will bounce to next (it would decide after its bounce delay, instead of before).

October 27, 2011 Patch

  • Frost Armor sound effect now plays when the buff is refreshed.

October 06, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Lich's Dark Ritual being usable on couriers.
  • Added a new custom effect for Lich's Frost Armor.
  • Lich's Chain Frost is now more visible.

September 29, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Dark Ritual not being castable on some units.

September 09, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Frost Armor affecting Magic Immune attackers.

July 22, 2011 Patch

  • Dark Ritual can no longer target summoned units.

July 01, 2011 Patch

  • Adjusted Chainfrost bounce speed.
  • Units sacrificed via Dark Ritual won't give deny XP to enemies.
  • Dark Ritual now displays mana restored.

June 02, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Chain Frost and Paralyzing Cask such that they now bounce correctly when their target unit dies/dodges.

May 26, 2011 Patch

  • Added projectile vision to Windrunner's Powershot and Lich's Chain Frost.

May 20, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Chain Frost stopping immediatly once it finds a magic immune unit.

April 09, 2011 Patch

  • New model for Lich, who is re-enabled!

March 12, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Chain Frost initial cast being unable to target magic immune (ministun still works on them).
  • Fixed Chain Frost bounces slowing all magic immune.

March 03, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Lich not playing his attack sound.

February 19, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Chain Frost hitting couriers.

February 12, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Frost Armor to only autocast on heroes.

February 01, 2011 Patch

  • Added shield icon for Lich's Frost Armor

December 17, 2010 Patch

  • Frost Nova not applying the slow debuff to the target.
  • Frost Armor proccing on ranged attacks.

Balance changelog[edit]



  • Ice Armor icon.png Ice Armor now slows ranged heroes for the full amount (instead of half).
  • Ice Armor icon.png Ice Armor can now be cast on spell immune allies.



  • Ice Armor icon.png Frost Armor: has half effect against ranged heroes.
    • Slow now stacks with the slow from Frost Nova.
  • Sacrifice icon.png Sacrifice:
    • Cooldown increased from 35/30/25/20 to 44/36/28/20.
    • Mana gain increased from 15/30/45/60% to 25/40/55/70%.
    • No longer denies enemy XP.
    • Now converts your own creep for XP (shared in AoE as normal creep xp bounty).



  • Frost Blast icon.png Frost Blast cooldown decreased from 9.25/9.25/9.25/8 to 8.


  • Added a 0.2 second buffer time between Chain Frost icon.png Chain Frost bounces (to prevent instant explosions for nearby units after the most recent code change).


  • Sacrifice icon.png Sacrifice cooldown rescaled from 30/27/24/21 to 35/30/25/20.


  • Frost Blast icon.png Frost Blast primary target damage increased from 50/100/125/175 to 50/100/150/200.
  • Ice Armor icon.png Ice Armor
    • Manacost increased from 25 to 50.
    • Armor bonus reduced from 3/6/9/12 to 3/5/7/9.
  • Sacrifice icon.png Sacrifice cooldown reduced from 55/50/45/40 to 30/27/24/21.


  • Movement speed increased by 10.
  • Starting damage rescaled from 37-56 to 42-51.


  • Frost Blast icon.png Frost Blast Level 4 cooldown decreased from 9.25 to 8.


  • Movement speed increased by 10.




  • Increased Lich attack range from 500 to 550.


  • Added an extra bounce to Scepter upgraded Chain Frost
  • Improved Frost Armor


  • Undid small part of the previous Dark Ritual nerf (was nerfed from 45 second cooldown to 60/55/50/45 before, and now to 55/50/45/40)


  • Dark Ritual cooldown from 45 to 60/55/50/45


  • Chain Frost cast range reduced from 800 to 750. Scepter version increased from 800 to 850.


  • Reduced Lich's attack range from 600 to 500


  • Lich movespeed buffed from 280 to 295
  • Chain frost bounce from 7 to 6


  • Reduced lich starting int from 20->18


  • Reduced str per lvl on Lich from 1.75 to 1.55


  • Gave Lich Icy Hands back


  • Lich nova now costs 125/150/170/190 from 100/125/155/180
  • Lich attack range changed from 570 to 600




See also[edit]